The Director of the University of Brighton Hastings campus, Paul Frost, confirmed last week that the campus would be closed down.

Frost told representatives from the student and faculty campaign “Hands Off Hastings” that an alternative university centre would be built over the next three to four years. The decision that was first announced on November 14th.

The operations and success of the Hastings campus were first put under review by the University of Brighton in January this year.

At the time, a university spokesperson told the Hastings Observer that the decision to build a campus in the town in 2003 had been under very different circumstances.

He said: “Since the original decision was taken to become a lead partner in the regeneration of Hastings, the broader economic, political and funding context have radically changed.”

In March, Vice-Chancellor Debra Humphris announced that senior management had found the university’s current model in Hastings was “not sustainable.”

Brighton Universirty Students’ Union claimed, following this statement, that the campus would be closed.

Since, the Hands Off Hastings campaign – supported by the Students’ Union – has been active in protesting the closure, highlighting the campus’ key role in the town’s rejuvenation and its positive effect on the community. Although consistent effort from campaigners prompted the university to set aside the closure in June for further consideration, the final decision to close the campus was confirmed recently.

On their website, the University of Brighton said that they would “continue to support higher education in Hastings” through the university centre, which will exist in partnership with Sussex Coast College Hastings.

At the meeting with Frost last week, students expressed their disappointment that they and the faculty had not been properly consulted about the campus closure.

The Hastings Campus Action Team spoke to The Badger about the decision last week.

They said: “We are angry and disgusted with the lack of transparency since the announcement on March 8th. We are extremely disappointed that the university has chosen to close the Hastings Campus, but we will continue to campaign for the continuation of resources, funding, and experience for the students at Hastings until the bitter end”.

The Badger reached out for comment from the University of Brighton but did not receive a response.

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Charlotte Tuxworth-Holden

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